Hen guarding nest boxes

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by rookea, Oct 14, 2016.

  1. rookea

    rookea Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 21, 2010
    I have 8 nest boxes. 17 hens: 6 Dominique, 5 Wyandotte, 6 Easter Eggers. A few of the Dominiques are aggressive at the nest boxes toward the other hens who are clearly trying to find a place to lay. They are all a week shy of 6 months. They free range but I had a feeling several were laying outside and not in boxes so today I decided close run door to sit and watch. One or two Dominiques are chasing all others away from nest boxes. After she finished laying I put her outside and she is attacking the coop as I type trying to get back in. I have been getting 4-6 eggs a day in the nest boxes but I think more are being laid elsewhere because a few of the overly protective dominques. Should I just keep them locked in for several days and let them sort it out? Some of my hens started laying before 4 months and some are just now starting. My EEs in particular seem to be the ones getting the majority of the harassment. [​IMG]
  2. minihorse927

    minihorse927 Whipper snapper

    Nov 3, 2010
    Some hens are more dominant than others. If they are not getting into any big scuffles I would pen them for a few days and see if they try to work it out on their own. If it does not seem to be working or somebody is getting feathers torn out of them then I would separate the two aggressive ones from everyone else for a week or two. This will help reestablish the pecking order and make them relearn their place and usually helps with pecking order issues.
  3. Some breeds are more dominant than others....Docile breeds will get pushed away...
    Might be time to rethink the flock members...I never keep a mean Hen or Rooster.....

    Best of luck..

    1 person likes this.
  4. BurntFeather

    BurntFeather Out Of The Brooder

    Jun 7, 2015
    I have had hen be so dominant when broodie that they force the other hens to lay their eggs in their own nesting box. Last year I had a Buff Orpington protect her box from all the other hens and would not allow them to use it no matter what for 6 months straight. We even tried treats to get her to leave her box, but she was practically a guard dog every time another hen went in the chicken house. After 6 months she stopped, chose another box and went about normal, but not single hen from that group ever used it.

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